Role models

Jack Russell Terrier by Steve-65 via Wikimedia Commons

Jack Russell Terrier by Steve-65 via Wikimedia Commons

“Dogs are my favorite role models. I want to work like a dog, doing what I was born to do with joy and purpose. I want to play like a dog, with total, jolly abandon. I want to love like a dog, with unabashed devotion and complete lack of concern about what people do for a living, how much money they have, or how much they weigh. The fact that we still live with dogs, even when we don’t have to herd or hunt our dinner, gives me hope for humans and canines alike.”Oprah Winfrey

I loved this quote from Oprah, so I went hunting on Wikimedia Commons, looking for some good images of dogs.  WOW, what a fun way to spend a few minutes.  Advance warning: you will probably be seeing lots more photos of dogs in upcoming weeks, because there were so many good ones it was hard to choose which to use here.

This one made the cut, though, partly because I just love Jack Russell Terriers, and partly because it seemed to capture many of the things mentioned in the quote.  I have learned much from animals, and dogs head my personal list of favorites.  It would be hard to overestimate the therapeutic benefit dogs have added to my life.

Whether you favor dogs, cats, birds, all of the above, or some other furry, feathered or scaled companion, I wish for you the joy, contentment, laughter and reassurance that friendship with animals can give us.  If you are blessed to have an animal living in your home, give him or her (or them) a friendly greeting from me, along with thanks for making life more fun.

Thanks to Ann for sharing this photo of Bentley and Solomon!

Thanks to Ann for sharing this photo of Bentley and Solomon!

Thanks also to Sheila for sharing a photo of Jack...

Thanks also to Sheila for sharing a photo of Jack…

...and also Mr. and Mrs. Clownfish (and their eggs)

…and also Mr. and Mrs. Clownfish (and their eggs)


  1. Ann

    Julia, I love the quote, the photo and your comments.! My canine companions, Bentley and Solomon, are a huge part of my life. They just told me that it would be okay with them if I gave them a treat in your honor. Oh…now they’re saying you would want to give them each a tummy rub too😊😊😊

    • HOW DID THEY KNOW? Of course I would want to give them a tummy rub! The intuition of dogs never ceases to amaze me. 😀

  2. Ann Weldon

    Bentley is the big white dog, Solomon is an Australian Cattle Dog.

    • Ann, I can’t see the photo in my comments screen, but I hope it will show up when I publish the comment. I’ll check and see…

      • OK, they are now featured at the bottom of the post! Thanks so much for sending me their photo. Give them an extra treat (with bonus belly rub) for co-starring.

  3. Ann

    No need to show photo, just thought you would like to see

    • I’d love to show the photo! But it didn’t come through with your comment, for some reason. Can you re-send it or email it to me at I love to share readers’ photos, especially the ones that feature dogs!

  4. I love this! We can all take a lesson from dogs – they are little furry angels, in my humble point of view. Thanks for sharing!

    • I agree! In fact, I honestly believe that God created dogs specifically to be companions for people. I’m so glad you like the post.

  5. Ann seems to join Sheila (and I am sure many others) in finding dogs indispensable. I may have said it before, here, that I continually told the dearly departed Austin: “I never heard of a dog as good as you!” And the words the almost-three-year-old Plott Hound, Heath, hears over and over, are: “I wish I could be as good of a man as you are a dog!” (He loves to fetch green tennis balls, btw)
    And I must repeat my favorite bumper sticker:
    “Lord, help me to be half the man my dog thinks I am”

    • 🙂 ❤ 🙂

  6. bobmielke

    Look for a few dog photos on a post that you may use to inspire you. 🙂

    • Hey, these are great! I think you should moonlight in animal portraiture. I bet lots of people out there would love a good portrait of their four-legged family.

      • bobmielke

        It’s amazing how many people think of money first when talent id recognized. I’ve said this before, I’m not a salesman or businessman, I’m a photographer. If I could find a partner who would handle the business end of appointments and sales I’d split the profits.

        • I suppose that’s because money can be so irritatingly necessary at times. Even so, I think doing animal portraits would be a labor of love that would be rewarding even if you didn’t charge anything. I’ve taken fairly good (though not professional) snapshots of people’s dogs, and always got a big kick out of trying to catch the right expression. For some of the people, these were the first and only close up photos they ever had of their beloved companions. Such pictures become priceless when one has to say good-bye to a faithful animal friend.

          • bobmielke

            I’ve done the processing on memorials for dogs that have passed away. It can be a heart wrenching experience to lose a beloved pet. I’ve cried many a tear for my pets that aged and had to be put down.

            • Bob, I’m so thankful we didn’t have to take that step with Pasha. He died literally within minutes of my telling Jeff it was time to take him to the vet to end his suffering (he could hardly breathe). I will always wonder if he heard and understood that I knew it was time to let him go. Jeff said he believed Pasha had stayed alive all night so he could tell us goodbye that last morning. For so many of us, our pets are truly members of our family.

              • bobmielke

                Darn, now here I sit in the middle of McDonald’s crying of your loss. I’m such a sap! We had our elderly cat lie in the middle of the road and die. I buried her in our garden. Pets are such wonderful gifts from God.

                • Thank you Bob. 🙂

  7. Sheila

    Julia, you must know that I have loved this blog today! I’m not familiar with the quote but I like it, too. We didn’t rush to get a dog after Salty died. Actually, it was almost a year to the day. Although Jack is a rescue Boykin Spaniel, we often say that HE rescued us. Our pets give so much, can’t imagine our home without them. Walter sends much love in his own squaky way! 🐥

    • Thanks Sheila! Tell Walter and Jack hello for me. Perhaps it won’t be too many more months until we are “rescued” by another heroic canine. We got Pasha while Jeff was in his residency, and we often say that he was the stress-buster that got Jeff through those difficult years. Thank God for our wonderful animal friends!

  8. Ann

    Bentley and Solomon are so honored to have their picture on your blog.! Aren’t dogs wonderful?! They add so much to our lives and, hopefully, we add to theirs!

    • Thanks again, Ann, for letting me use your photo. YES dogs are wonderful!

  9. Happy new year and best wishes to you and yours for health, happiness, peace & prosperity in 2015!

    • Thanks, Russel! I am just now seeing this comment because it somehow got caught in my spam filter. Hope you have a great 2015 too!

  10. Sheila

    I love the photo of Pasha by the water’s edge and another favorite was Pasha and Drew napping together. I’ll always smile recalling Pasha and Salty commenting here to each other. 😘 We’ve shared some lighthearted moments, sometimes laughing to keep from crying. Thank you, Julia. 🙏

    • Thank you, Sheila. I enjoyed Pasha and Salty’s “correspondence” too, just as I love to hear from Walter. I’m so glad we have been able to share these things, and so much more! ❤

      • Sheila

        ⛺️ in the ☔️ but maybe ☁️⛅️☀️later! Thoughts of ya’ll this Sunday morning…. Sheila

        • Sheila, we had a lot of rain this morning, but now the sun has come out — hope you sun is shining too!

  11. 🙂

  12. HarryS

    Thanks for sadness and joy!
    🙂 It’s a peculiar mixture. 🙂

    • You’re welcome, Harry. Yes, it is indeed a peculiar mixture, no less affirming even so.

  13. Jack

    My now 17 year old son said at about age 12 when we were briefly (and foolishly) considering becoming a “no dog” family shortly after grieving the loss of Rosie the Cavalier Spaniel , “we’re much nicer people with dogs”. Bo the GSP and Lucy the KCCS undoubtedly agree!

    • Jack, I agree! When we first moved to our York neighborhood, I told my friend in California (who also had to adorable Cavalier Spaniels) that there were lots of dogs in our new neighborhood. “That’s a good sign,” she said. How right she was!

  14. Lucky are the doggies that find good homes with good people like us. When you give a dog a home from a shelter, you might be saving their life but inevitably, it is you they’re saving. So many hugs and kisses, tail wags and tummy rubs to keep us going on the toughest days. How many friends will go for a walk with you no matter the time of day or weather outside? I miss it all so much. So far, Mr B is adamant that we shouldn’t include a dog in this home. Maybe he’ll relent someday when an opportunity arrises and he’ll have to look into some big brown eye’s and try to say no. Do you think about getting another dog sometimes? xo K

    • Yes, we want to get another dog whenever our lives become a bit more predictable. Until Jeff’s chemo-related issues heal and his lung tumors shrink or at least stop growing, it looks as if we will be in for more hospitalizations and treatments, which will leave insufficient time for the attention a new dog (especially a puppy) will need. During Jeff’s first surgery, he was in the hospital 3 full weeks and I was unable to walk Pasha his daily 2 miles. I could tell a great difference in him after I got back home and tried to start him back on his walking. His stamina had really decreased just in that relatively short time. I will always think that break in the exercise contributed to his dying a bit earlier than he might have if I’d been able to keep up his daily 2 miles. But he lived a good long life regardless, and we were so lucky to have him. I hope Mr. B will come around and find out for himself what a difference a dog will make. I know many people who changed their minds about never wanting a dog, and not one of them looked back with regret! Even some of us who knew we loved dogs were surprised just how much a part of our families they became. A true blessing.

  15. I’m sure your attentive walks contributed positively to Pasha’s health all during his life Julia. You loved him to the moon and back and he felt that love every day. It could very well just be that Pasha, being a senior dog, was ready to take life a bit slower at the same time Jeff was hospitalized. I believe dogs can sometimes smell an illness like Cancer too. Perhaps Pasha was anxious when Jeff was gone. They can be intuitive about these things. I know when Buddy’s routine was interrupted, he’d get anxious.
    I so happy for you that you can look forward to another dog being part of your family. I might get lucky too. Never say never! xo

    • Who knows, maybe we’ll both be “puppy mamas” at the same time one day. 🙂

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